Joel Quenneville (Left) & Kyle Beach (Right)
Joel Quenneville has been a very successful NHL coach over his coaching career, but this does not protect him from the very serious sexual abuse case that occurred all the way back in May 2010 when he was the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. Kyle Beach bravely came forward in late October coming out with his side of the story and everything that happened and this led Joel Quenneville to step down as the Florida Panthers head coach and two lone members of the 2010 Blackhawks senior meeting that still remained with the team, Bowman and Maclsaac also stepped down. (CBS)
Going back to where this all started on May 8th & 9th 2010, former Center of the Chicago Blackhawks Kyle Beach was assaulted by video coach Brad Aldrich. This sexual encounter occurred during the Western Conference finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks. When investigated Aldrich claimed that everything that took place was consensual, but Beach told investigators that everything was “entirely non-consensual” (CBS). Beach also said that Aldrich forced himself upon Beach when Beach refused to comply. After all of this occurred Beach told Blackhawks skills coach Paul Vincent what had happened between him and Aldrich. Vincent brought this to the front office of the Blackhawks. Even after hearing this Aldrich still kept his job and then the allegations were basically just forgotten about. Beach said it made him “feel like he didn’t exist (CBS). After all this happened, Aldrich continued to do acts like what occurred at the Beach with other people. That same year in 2010 Aldrich was also under heat for assaulting an intern for the Blackhawks. Again, this went under the radar and Aldrich kept his job. Then three years later in March 2013, Aldrich had assaulted a high schooler and this ended up putting him behind bars and sentenced to jail on February 13th, 2014. It is now very apparent that what happened between Beach and Aldrich actually occurred since all of these other horrible events happened. Beach said recently that "I know I'm not the only one, male or female. And I buried this for 10 years, 11 years. And it's destroyed me from the inside out," (NPR).
Timeline of Events Regarding The Case
In early May 2021 Beach had finally decided to come out about his story and file a lawsuit against the Chicago Blackhawks. When coming forward in this lawsuit Beach came forward as “John Doe,” he filed the lawsuit against the Blackhawks for their mishandling of his sexual assault allegations back in 2010 (ESPN). The lawsuit was a 107-page report by law firm Jenner & Block, Beach says he hopes “speaking out will help other abuse survivors' ' (NBC). Quenneville claims he was unaware of the allegations until this summer “through the media'' (ESPN), but then investigation that took place revealed that Quenneville, did not prioritize addressing the allegations made by Beach because he didn’t want the focus of the team to be taken away from there pursuit of the Stanley cup. So, Quenneville was caught lying when he said he never knew about the allegations when he indeed did know about them. This was not a good look for Quenneville (FOXN). When Quenneville addressed the media, he had a few things to say. He first said, "I want to reflect on how all of this happened and take the time to educate myself on ensuring hockey spaces are safe for everyone” (ESPN). This quote really reflects how the whole situation was handled. Quenneville saying that he needs time to educate himself on how to make hockey spaces safe for everyone just shows that he was careless back when it happened and was probably care less about it all the way until now with this story breaking. Quenneville did say “I want to express my sorrow for the pain this young man, Kyle Beach has suffered” (FOXN). It’s nice to see Quenneville show some remorse towards the victim, Beach.
The stakeholders in this specific case would be the victim Kyle Beach, head coach Joel Quenneville, the perpetrator Aldrich, sexual assault victims, future sexual assault victims, and the General Public. Joel Quenneville and Brad Aldrich’s reputations have ultimately been ruined by the way they handled Beach's sexual assault allegations back in 2010. Kyle Beach is affected by the situation by having to go through everything he did and having to live in fear and be scarred for life. This affects Quenneville because it cost him his job as he was fired by the Florida Panthers and his reputation is also ruined. This affects Aldrich since he will most likely be facing jail time for his action against Beach and many of his other victims. This affects sexual assault victims because situations like these are very personal to them and hearing about another one occurring will not sit well with them. This affects future sexual assault victims because with Kyle Beach speaking out he hopes that it will help with other abuse survivors. The General Public is affected because situations like these will help educate more and more people about how awful situations like this are completely unacceptable and need to stop.
Kyle Beach Crying After Talking With TSN
Individualism is an ethical theory in which the premise is to maximize profits and benefit the stakeholders to the fullest while staying within the confines of the law. If any law is broken by anyone associated with the organization while attempting to maximize profits, or if the organization does something that is not in the best interest of the stakeholder’s profits, an individualist would consider the action unethical and therefore morally impermissible.
In the case of Joel Quenneville resigning from the Chicago Blackhawks in light of sexual assault allegations claimed by Kyle Beach and committed by Brad Aldrich that went ignored by Quenneville, would in the individualists’ eyes be seen as impermissible. Just as an individualist wants to increase profits for the stakeholders as much as possible, so did Quenneville. His team was on a winning streak, heading to the Stanley Cup eleven years ago in 2010 when the initial allegation took place. The stakeholders oblivious to this at the time where making money through fans and advertisements left and right. However, Quenneville did hear about the allegations and stated, “that it was hard for the team to get to where they were and they could not deal with this issue now” (Quenneville). Knowing about the situation and not saying anything because he knew he could risk the revenue that the team would get is wrong.
He purposefully ignored Kyle’s well-being and was only driven by profits, because of this the team’s revenue rose every year starting at $18 million dollars in 2010 rising to $208 million in 2019 up until 2020 where it dropped to $178 million (Statista.com). Withholding this information did not increase profits and benefit stakeholders in the long run because the team's reputation has been destroyed; they are now seen as untrustworthy. The team now has to deal with this allegation and investigation and are going to have a hard time fixing the way the public views their team. Now that Beach has come forward with the allegations, it is clear that even though Quenneville did not technically break any laws, his action to resign is not considered in individualism. This is because any law broken by anyone who is in association with the organization automatically makes the actions unethical according to the individualist. It does not matter that Quenneville was dishonest from an individualist perspective, as honesty is not necessarily taken into consideration in an individualist analysis; an individualist would deem this as morally impermissible because an unlawful act was committed.
In conclusion, the individualist would find the actions committed by the Blackhawks as impermissible because there was not only an unlawful but evil act committed by someone who was tied to them even though Joel Quenneville tried to cover it up and raise the organization's stakeholder profits. Profiting the stakeholders is the first goal of the individualist, but no matter how hard someone tries to raise profits that would benefit companies, organizations or people there is always a limit and the law should never be broken.
Utilitarianism is the choice among all possibilities that maximizes happiness for all individuals able to feel happiness considering short- and long-term consequences. The events that took place did not maximize happiness. Looking at all of the different perspectives of this situation there are many different things that occurred that did maximize happiness for some and some events that didn’t maximize happiness for some. These individuals are:
Kyle Beach: Beach has been affected by this situation the most and was very negatively affected by it back in 2010, but is now being positively affected by it in 2021. Back when it all happened, he tried to reach out and talk with Blackhawks skill coach Paul Vincent and Vincent brought it to the head of the organization and it was ultimately just ignored. This did not maximize happiness for Beach, but since he has now revealed the story and what happened and the repercussions of what took place is being put onto Quenneville and Aldrich and this is maximizing happiness for Beach.
Quenneville: Quenneville is affected negatively by his own actions in the sexual assault case of Kyle Beach. The way he handled the situation back then and in present-day shows that he didn’t care much for Beach and sexual assault victims. His lying and saying that he didn’t know about the allegations until now through the media, really shows who he is as a person. This situation does not maximize happiness. For Quenneville to maximize happiness he will need to actually educate himself on this topic and be a strong voice for victims that have gone through something like this.
Brad Aldrich: This situation affects Aldrich in a negative way because he was the one that committed these awful actions towards Beach and many other victims. Aldrich’s actions are unacceptable and he has already gone to jail once for his actions and he deserves to end up in jail once again. These actions do not maximize happiness for Aldrich and there isn’t anything he can do.
Sexual Assault Victims: This affects sexual assault victims in a negative way because when another victim is harmed and affected, they are all affected. When they hear another story of something like this happening it reminds them of what happened to them. This situation doesn’t maximize their happiness, but for it to maximize their happiness they can continue to share their stories and spread positivity down on all that have been affected.
Future Sexual Assault Victims: This affects future sexual assault victims in a positive way. Even if this does end up happening to others it will be awful, but Beach’s story will help these never victims know they are not alone and that they do have a voice and should speak up about their stories. This situation does maximize happiness for future sexual assault victims.
General Public: This affects the general public in a negative and positive way. Although the public hates to see stories like these, when they do happen the public has no hesitation to continue spreading awareness towards sexual assault, but even louder each time. This doesn’t initially maximize happiness for the general public, but when they are spreading awareness about sexual assault, it does.
In conclusion, it was very brave of Kyle Beach to come out and share his story and experiences with the public. It brought justice to the individual that committed the actions and also came back to bite the people that initially pushed off the allegations to the side and didn’t show much interest in something that is very serious.
Kantianism, as created and implemented by Immanuel Kant, is the ethical theory of acting rationally, consistently, from goodwill, and making sure you don’t lie, cheat, or deceive because it disrespects people and treats them as mere means. Kant’s ethical theory also is composed of the formula of humanity which states that people must act in such a way that you treat humanity as the same at an end not simply as a mean. The test that Kantianism uses to deem one's actions as rational and ethical is the categorical imperative. The categorical imperative is the supreme law of reason that tells you what is rational and what is irrational. If the action passes the test it’s rational and therefore permissible to act upon.
Kantianism, using the standards set by the categorical imperative and the foundation of the ethical theory, would deem Joel Quenneville’s actions as impermissible. As alluded to in the case controversy, Quenneville was present at a senior board meeting where Beach’s allegations were addressed and as stated by the GM of the Blackhawks, Quenneville brushed the issue aside for a Stanley Cup run. Quenneville over the summer came out and stated he had just recently found out about Beach’s sexual assault case which was already proven wrong as his presence at the senior board meeting in 2010 said otherwise. Kyle Beach himself stated in an ABC interview, “there was "absolutely no way" the then-Blackhawks coach could deny knowing about the allegations. (Wyshynski, Greg). The foundation of Kantianism is not lying, deceiving, and treating one as a means. Quenneville got caught in a mix-up of words and lies which ended up costing him his head coaching career in the NHL. Quenneville focused on the team winning a trophy rather than Kyle Beach’s well-being, which is against Kant’s formula of humanity. Joel Quenneville treated Beach as a mere mean and disrespected him when brushing his sexual assault under the rug then pretending to have no knowledge about it.
Another key component to the ethical theory of Kantianism is to act consistently. Quenneville bounced around publicly stating he had no clue of the incident that took place with Beach which was later proved inaccurate and misleading as he was present in a meeting regarding the issue. As stated above, not only is this key scenario full of lies but it’s inconsistent. Consistency is a major component to the ethical theory of Kantianism and Quenneville didn’t display any form of consistency throughout his part in the Kyle Beach sexual assault case. What has been consistent through this case was Aldrich sexually assaulting people no matter the place or time. Aldrich, after sexually assaulting Kyle Beach, sexually assaulted the Chicago Blackhawks intern, two University of Miami players, and a high school hockey player. Aldrich was allowed to be a consistent abuser from the inconsistent deceiving lies Quenneville didn’t act upon while being the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. All the concepts inside the theory of Kantianism were acted upon for the worse. Deception, misleading lies, inconsistency, treating one as mere means, are all factors that determine Quenneville as impermissible in his part of Kyle Beach’s sexual assault struggles.
A virtue theory view would investigate the characteristics and values of everyone in the case determining if they are moral through their actions. Virtue theory is performed by practicing honesty, justice, courage, and temperance. A person develops an honorable and moral character using rationality. By doing this. We are good people also. A good person functions where that means using your rationality to get along with society; character traits that enable the main virtues are honesty, courage, fairness/justice. Although virtual theory doesn’t look at what the person does to be ethical it looks at how the person asks to determine if they are ethical. This is because virtual theory determines if a person has these traits, then they will in turn act ethically. After all, they should know how to act ethically if they have these traits. In this case, many people were unethical through the eyes of virtual theory.
For example, Joel Quenneville held onto the knowledge of the sexual assault for years and only told people about it when the victim came forward and told his story. With this, it shows that Mr. Quenneville is dishonest because many times he had said he did not know any information about the sexual assault and only admitted he did when the victim Kyle Beach came forward. For fairness and justice, he held a crime that he knew of from law enforcement and justice, so he also does not fit this box. This also shows evidence that he has no courage and only held this information for personal gain. Lastly, Mr. Quenneville also showed no temperance by holding onto prior information for the benefit of someone else shows that he had no temperance. This shows that Mr. Quenneville is non-ethical and was in the wrong through virtual theory.
This can be the same for Brad Aldrich who also fails all four virtues. Mr. Aldrich is not honest because he sexually assaulted multiple people and lied about not knowing information about it. He was not courageous because he was taking advantage of innocent people in his care and especially weaker people than him. He did not show justice because he did not just sexually assault one person, he sexually assaulted multiple people multiple times. Last, he did not show temperance because he could not refrain from sexually assaulting multiple people.
The only person that could be considered ethical in this case to virtue theory is Kyle Beach who was the victim of the sexual assault. He was honest by coming forward multiple times about his sexual assault. He was justified because he wanted to find justice for not only him but many others that were sexually assaulted by Mr. Aldrich. He is also courageous because he came forward to talk about his difficult story of sexual abuse in the workplace and came out publicly on national TV about it. Last he showed temperance by having to wait almost 11 years till his sexual assault allegations were taken seriously.
Beach playing for the Blackhawks
The goal of the action plan is to benefit Kyle Beach for all of his sufferings during this time period as well as provide a plan in order to make sure that something like this never happens again. First, they would need to commemorate Kyle Beach and truly acknowledge his courage and strength during his silence of the events as well as try to reach any need he wants. Next, they would want to side with Beach the entire way and put into place a larger investigation about the whole allegation as quickly as possible to make sure that everyone involved is held equally accountable for what they have done. This will set an example to other teams and people involved that their actions will not go unnoticed and they will be punished to the fullest extent they can be. They should use whatever funds they can in order to help the investigation. Then they would need to set strong restrictions on hidden information about unlawful activity conducted in any organization in the NHL which would help curb these actions because people know the repercussions of any unlawful action. They then might want to put in training programs that every organization needs to go through in order to compete. These training programs would show the ways people will be penalized for committing unlawful acts and it can show people can go about reporting unlawful conduct in a way that they may be anonymous and the penalties for failing to do so. Finally, they should bar anyone who was involved with the allegations from Kyle Beach from being a part of the NHL or attending any NHL events again. These steps not only ensure that Kyle Beach gets justice and recognition for his struggles but also help the other NHL organizations see the punishments they can face if they ever try to take a similar approach to that of the Chicago Blackhawks. By enforcing this action plan acts as a backbone to sexual assault prevention across the whole NHL and creates a public statement that these actions may have slipped by once, but they’ve been dealt with and as a league, the NHL has zero tolerance for this occurrence ever happening again. The NHL and NHLPA, the players association and advocated for player problems, have disagreed on many instances in the past, and in this specific topic of sexual assault, they need to unite to create a positive message and reform across not only the NHL but the globe. Their values should be explicitly stated, that the players aren’t just money generators, they’re people with feelings too. Outside of the rink, these are real people with lives, families, and feelings. The NHL coming out with this action plan would set a concrete plan for sexual assault prevention and regulations to punish the organizations that fail to abide by the standard set by the league.
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